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Jury Reaches Verdict in Jim Donnan Federal Fraud Trial

The former University of Georgia coach was accused of scamming millions from investors.

After more than 12 hours of jury deliberation, former University of Georgia football coach Jim Donnan, was found not guilty of federal fraud charges Friday afternoon in U.S. Circuit Court in Athens.

Donnan, 69, faced 41 counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering in an alleged scam of millions of dollars from investors.

I feel vindicated, and I hope I can get my life back,” Donnan told reporters as he left the courtroom, the AJC reported.

The jury foreman, Artis Ricks, said the prosecution didn’t prove its case and Donnan “was as big a victim in this as some of the investors.”

The jury took three days to reach the verdict.

Donnan, Georgia’s head coach from 1996-2000, and Ohio businessman Gregory Crabtree were accused of conspiring to scam investors, many of who are Athens residents or prominent sports figures, out of $80 million. Crabtree pleaded guilty last month to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Donnan pleaded not guilty, saying he did not mean to intentionally mislead investors.

Prosecutors alleged Donnan and Crabtree operated a scheme through a closeout-merchandise company called GLC Limited and used money from new investors to pay off bills and some investors. They called it a Ponzi scheme.

The indictment said investors were not given much information on the company, nor updated on financial problems GLC was having.

GLC filed for bankruptcy in 2011, as did Donnan.

Aww Now May 16, 2014 at 04:13 PM
Way to go Feds! Maybe there should be month long trials. B/c apparently the Feds can't get a conviction with a quick presentation of the evidence. Think of all the wasted money.
Lone Stranger May 16, 2014 at 04:55 PM
I called this one before the jury ever went out to deliberate. What idiot thought you were going to get a conviction of a former UGA Football Coach in Athens GA? That guy needs his head examined. You bet we spent a bundle on this circus. These greedy "investors" got rooked and then the dope prosecution team decided to try and convict a former head football coach in the same, small college town he coached in. They are all absolute incompetents. They should have to repay the money for their clear attempt to make names for themselves on the taxpayers tab. This case was a non starter from the get go.
David Jarrett May 17, 2014 at 09:16 AM
Crabtree clearly was the major crook and the feds cut a deal with HIM rather than Donnan who was more of a fool than a crook, They should have aimed major punishment at the guy who set out to rob and cheat rather than try to convict the "Big Name."
Jon Mahr May 17, 2014 at 02:14 PM
Why isn't the prosecutor or prosecutorial team named ?
Jon Mahr May 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM
Name the prosecutorial team for us poor rate payers

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